General Motors announced today that the 5.3-liter V8 found in both the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado has been SAE rated at 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, and will get an estimated 23 mpg highway for rear-wheel drive models, and 22 mpg highway with four-wheel drive.
Base pricing was also revealed by the brands, with the Sierra starting at $25,085, and the Silverado starting as $24,585. Moving up into a double cab model will cost $28,610 in the Silverado, and $29,110 for Sierra, while the top end crew cabs will start at $32,710 for Silverado and $33,210 for Sierra. Built into the overall price is a two-year, 24,000-mile standard scheduled maintenance program, which includes four free maintenance visits. To opt for the 5.3-liter V8, customers will only have to shell out an extra $895, and Chevy says that they expect 3/4 Silverados to be powered by that engine.
A 4.3-liter V6 and a 6.2-liter V8 will also be offered in GM’s trucks, but performance numbers are still unreleased.
The rear-wheel drive 5.3-liter V8 is rated at 16/23/19 mpg city/highway/combined, while the 4×4 model gets a 16/22/18 mpg rating. GM was quick to point out that the fuel economy of the new middle of the road 5.3-liter V8 beats out the Ford F-150 EcoBoost V6 numbers by 1 mpg for both the rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models. GM’s 5.3-liter V8 still doesn’t beat Ram’s 25 mpg highway rating for the 3.6-liter V6 mated to the eight-speed transmission, but that isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison GM’s six-cylinder numbers, on the other hand, might be good enough to best the Ram V6.
To achieve these fuel economy numbers, GM fitted its new EcoTec3 engines with cylinder deactivation, variable valve timing and direct injection. All three engines are fixed to a six-speed automatic transmission, though GM execs admit that an updated transmission is in the works. It will arrive later on in the product’s life cycle, and is likely to incorporate more gears.
With the 5.3-liter GM engine at 355 hp and 383 lb-of torque however, the F-150 EcoBoost wins the power game, as it is rated at 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Ford’s smaller V8, the 5.0-liter, is a closer match to GM’s new 5.3-liter V8, and beats it by 5 hp but lacks 3 lb-ft of torque. In comparison to the Ram, the 5.3-liter GM engine beats out Chrysler’s middle of the road 4.7-liter V8 by about 40 hp and 50 lb-ft.
GM says that double cab rear-wheel drive models equipped with the available max towing package will pull a max 11,500 lbs., an extra 200 lbs over the Ford F-150’s max tow rating, putting the Sierra and Silverado at the top of the heap when it comes to hauling trailers. In a conference call about the new pickups, GM admits that the towing capacity numbers do not conform to J2807 standard, set by the industry along with the Society of Automotive Engineers. As of now, only Toyota’s half-tons fully conform to the standard.
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